Monday, August 22, 2011
That Ramadhaan Feeling
Although I am very happy that it’s the Blessed month of Ramadhaan, I have to admit that things don’t seem all that right this year. Usually there is a particular “feel” in the month of Ramadhaan. You just feel like its extra special and you somehow feel different inside. This year has got me wondering because that extra special feeling I usually have seems to be amiss somehow. The days still seem special, the nights still peaceful, the moments spent in recitation of the Glorious Quraan or praying salaah still seem more meaningful, just like every year, then why do things still seem so different? And then it hit me...
Last year Ramadhaan I was honoured to have spent the last ten days of the month in the best place on earth, the Blessed City of Madinah. Nothing can compare to those ten days, and my years of special Ramadhaan’s seem bleak in comparison. The late night Taraweeh prayers with the most beautiful Quraanic recitation still lingers in my mind. The search for a small space in the extra full Masjid Nabawi so that you can perform your prayers, standing squashed up amidst a huge crowd of women and not knowing if my space to put my head down is still going to be there when I need to prostrate, or whether another woman would have found her way in. The scrambling for a glass of zam-zam water to break the fast at the time of Iftaar. The scores of people, leisurely enjoying the serenity of the entire place. The families sitting together eating their final morning meal before they begin their fast, while others are immersed in prayer. The early morning sounds of Quraan being recited from the Masjid Nabawi as Qiyaam-ul-Layl (late night/early morning voluntary prayers) is being performed. The continuous hustle and bustle, shops open till late, people completely at leisure, food and water being handed out as you walk on the streets. Every single person doing the same thing, every single person seeking blessings from Allah Almighty. The completely packed city, with more people than you’ll ever see together at the same place, at the same time (except of course for the amount of people in Makkah in Ramadhaan which exceeds the scores of people in Madinah and if you had to consider Hajj time which is much fuller). This was Ramadhaan in Madinah, how can I ever have that old time extra special feeling again, after experiencing something so amazing.
As I sit here in South Africa this Ramadhaan I am extremely thankful for my experience last year, and I am glad that during this Blessed month people around me seem to be trying so much harder to be better people and better Muslims, but my heart still longs for Madinah, and the longing of the heart is something that is not in our control. Last year this time I was there, in the Blessed City, this year I will pray that the light, peace and happiness that I experienced there, can be experienced by all of us, over and over again. It’s true, you don’t have to be in Makkah or Madinah to receive blessings, you can connect with your Lord, even from the corner of your room, in your house, anywhere in the world, even in South Africa. The connection is definitely much more vivid there, but it’s Ramadhaan, a month I like to regard as a month of gifts, a month of opportunity. There are opportunities to receive blessings, to be granted forgiveness , and for the acceptance of prayers, but most of all, there are extra opportunities to connect with Allah and find the Ultimate Truth.
It is the last few days of Ramadhaan, these nights are the most blessed as I’m sure you all already know, if you can remember me in your prayers, then please do so. Let us take the opportunities we have right now; we have no idea where we’ll be next year.
Image from: http://navedz.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/picture-perfect-friendship-across-nations/